What is arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis means inflammation of the joints. There are more than 100 conditions which fall under the name Arthritis. The common denominator for all of these conditions is joint and musculoskeletal pain.
Different forms of arthritis range from relatively mild conditions such as tendinitis and gout; to crippling systemic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis also includes pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia and systemic lupus erythematosus. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common forms.
Symptoms of arthritis
Symptoms vary due to the many different types of arthritis but pain and inflammation are the common indications. Warning signs present in any of the following symptoms:
- Inflammation are redness
What causes arthritis?
The cause of most forms of arthritis still remain unknown. Experts suggest that there are many different causes; trauma to the joint, infection of the joint, overuse or age. Genetics and lifestyle behaviours are also thought as drivers for the development of arthritis.
How to treat arthritis
Arthritis treatment generally includes exercise, diet, physiotherapy, medication and sometimes surgery to correct joint damage.
The main aim of arthritis treatment is to provide pain relief and improve the mobility and strength of joints. Treatments for osteoarthritis can help relieve pain and stiffness, but the disease may continue to progress. The same was true for rheumatoid arthritis in the past, but treatments in recent years have been able to slow or stop progression of joint damage.
Using Physicool to treat joint inflammation and pain
Wrap a Physicool cooling bandage around the arthritic joint to draw heat out and reduce pain and inflammation. Physicool is clinically approved cooling therapy used within the NHS, by physiotherapists and at home. Each bandage is reusable and affords all of the benefits of ice without the need for refrigeration, the pain that ice can cause, and the mess.
Once applied to the arthritic area, the coolant on the bandage will evaporate. As evaporation occurs heat is drawn our of the area. This cools the underlying tissues and bones greatly reducing swelling and the pain felt. The bandage can be used for as long as required without any risk of ice-related damage.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis acquired from daily wear and tear of the joint. OA begins in the cartilage (connective tissue) between the bones. The cartilage within the joints will eventually erode leading to painful rubbing of bone on bone. Symptoms starts with minor pain during activities, but soon the pain can be continuous and even occur while in a state of rest. The pain can be debilitating and prevent someone from doing everyday activities. Osteoarthritis also occur as a result of injury. The most frequently affected joints are in the hands, spine, knees and hips.
Osteoarthritis often develops in people who are over 50 years of age. However, it can develop at any age as a result of an injury or another joint-related condition.
There is no cure for Osteoarthritis but the condition can be prevented from worsening. Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and joints is very helpful. Medication and cooling will help with managing the pain. When the disease is far advanced and the pain is continuous joint replacement is a viable option.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. This inflammatory autoimmune disorder causes joint inflammation that can lead to deformity and bone erosion. RA occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the affected joints, causing pain and swelling. This can lead to a reduction in movement and the breakdown of bone and cartilage. However, action can be taken to decrease the pain and discomfort created by RA.
Many rheumatologist recommend cooling therapy to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and stiffness. Using Physicool twice a day for 30 minutes has helped many suffers with the pain and stiffness as the cold compression reduces swelling by constricting blood vessels whilst soothing the area.